B’nai Shalom is a contemporary Conservative synagogue that offers a profound spiritual experience and a warm, family-like community. Members share a commitment to being caring and inclusive and connecting to Jewish values, education, and traditions in personally meaningful and diverse ways. There are egalitarian Shabbat (with Kiddush lunch) and holiday services, as well as daily morning and evening minyanim. Programs include an award-winning Religious School and educator-led Junior Congregation, a variety of children’s activities (toddlers through high school) and adult learning on multiple levels. B’nai Shalom is dedicated to volunteerism, social action, philanthropy, and Israel. It welcomes with open arms new members of all backgrounds and family structures. B’nai Shalom supports full inclusion and participation of individuals having all abilities in both religious and communal life.
An informal, unpretentious, and caring home for the Jewish soul, heart and mind. Come join us in study, service, prayer and friendship as we grow our unique brand of traditional and egalitarian Judaism.
Rabbi Robert L. Tobin, the spiritual leader of B'nai Shalom, instills our shul with a warm and inviting family spirit, a steadfast love of Israel, and a deep commitment to Jewish life and learning. He invites your contact and looks forward to welcoming you.
A Home For Your Family - A Home For The Soul
B'nai Shalom is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
B'nai Shalom offers a full schedule of religious services including:
- Weekday Minyanim: Weekday Shacharit at 7:00 AM, Sundays and Federal Holidays, 9:00 AM. Weekday Maariv at 8:00 PM.
- Kabbalat Shabbat is at 7:00 PM in summer and at candlelighting time in Winter. Oneg Shabbats are scheduled throughout the year.
- Early Family Service, periodically at 5:30 PM, led by Rabbi Tobin and designed to delight our children.
- Shabbat Services, Saturdays 9:00 AM and Mincha/Maariv at sundown.
- Every week Rabbi Tobin teaches a variety of texts between minchah and ma'ariv on Saturday nights. All are welcome.
A Home For The Heart
B'nai Shalom offers a full range of educational and social programs for children and adults of all ages.
One Bar or Bat Mitzvah is celebrated at a time so every one of our children has the full and undivided attention of family, friends and congregation on this most special of days.
Men and women count equally in all our minyanim, receive aliyot, and fill leadership positions in the synagogue.
We have an active youth program every week for all ages, led by Rena Casser, our Religious School Principal. Our Students and youngest members of the congregation join the Rabbi on the bimah for the conclusion of services every week.
We also offer a monthly Shabbat service and program for adults with special needs.
On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we offer an Alternate Family Service, a less formal and abridged service for families of all ages, as well as youth programs and services for ALL ages.
Our Purim and Simchat Torah celebrations bring the entire congregation together for joyous prayer, song and celebration.
Men's Club and Sisterhood sponsor a broad range of social and educational activities.
Our award-winning Double Chai (Hazak) Club provides a special place within B'nai Shalom for seniors.
Our Social Action Committee has fostered a spirit of tzedakah through a broad range of community service programs.
A Home For The Mind
Our Religious School offers Jewish education from kindergarden through high school.
The Primary Grades (K-2) in our Religious School meet on Sundays and start our young children on their life's journey by generating excitement about Jewish learning and the Hebrew language.
Grades Aleph through Hey (3-7) meets on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for further instruction in Hebrew, Jewish history, holidays and traditions, the State of Israel and Jewish life in America and around the world.
We also offer a variety of educational programs for adults, including lectures and series by Rabbi Tobin, and Rabbi Asekoff, guest speakers from the community, and a rich assortment of ever-changing Israel and cultural programs.
Religious services are the heart and soul of B’nai Shalom. We are proud of our meaningful weekday, Shabbat, holiday and High Holiday tefillot (prayers). The culture of prayer here is informal and traditional. Many of our members are skilled to lead, chant Torah and Haftarah, and even teach courses and give the d’var Torah when called upon by Rabbi Tobin. The Rabbi’s leadership and teaching is interactive and haimish, while strongly based in academic and Judaic knowledge and passion. For weekday and shabbat service times, CLICK HERE
Shabbat services begin every Friday night in the Lipka Chapel. Saturday morning services in the beautiful Gruhin Sanctuary often include the celebration of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, an Auf Ruf or baby naming. Men and women have equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of the services including being called to the Torah for an aliyah, reading Torah, chanting Haftarot and serving as the "shaliach tzibbur" in leading the services. All of our B'nei Mitzvah are encouraged to lead as much of the service as they are able to master. Many read the complete Torah Parasha and Haftarah, deliver the D'var Torah and lead services - including complete repetitions of the amidah. We take pride in their preparation.
Several times a year congregants join Janice Colmar who leads a Parasha learning class during Shabbat AM services.
Each week, we conclude Shabbat beginning at sundown with Mincha, a study session with the Rabbi, and concluding with Ma'ariv and Havdalah.
Morning and evening Minyanim are held on all weekdays of the year, and we seldom miss a minyan. For a synagogue of our size, our vibrant, joyous and complete cycle of services is a remarkable testimony to our spirit and commitment to each other and to our sacred calendar. Our support for each other’s kaddish extends to the shiva home as well as the regular minyan.
All are welcome to our services, any day of the year, no matter your background or interest. Engaging the heart, the soul and the mind, we are justifiably proud of our kehillah kedoshah – sacred community of B’nai Shalom.
“They tried to kill us. We survived. Let’s eat!” This unattributed quote reflects a major part of our holiday traditions here at B’nai Shalom. After all, we are proud to be a “contemporary conservative synagogue where everyone feels at home”… But there is a lot more to it! This page is your ultimate guide to holiday services, rituals and rich traditions developed at B’nai Shalom over 85 years.Click Here to View Photos from our Holiday Celebrations >>
The Three Pilgrimage Festivals
The observances of the Shalosh Regalim, the three pilgrimage festivals (Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot), include full-scale traditional holiday services on the 1st, 2nd and other days of these major festivals, reading the Megillah required for each holiday: Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs) for Pesach, Ruth for Shavuot and Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) for Sukkot. Hallel is sung to uplifting and engaging tunes. The Yizkor service is conducted on the last day of each festival.
Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur
To prepare us for the High Holidays, Selichot services are held on the Saturday evening before Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services are dynamically led by Rabbi Tobin and a professional cantor in Maron Hall. The seating in Maron Hall is "in the round" so that all congregants can be close and involved. Concurrently in the Gruhin Sanctuary, an abridged, but rich and engaging family service is led by our USY adviser Jeff Kirschenbaum and facilitated by Marlene Lynn. Jeff incorporates new and old tunes into the service, as well as anecdotes that are meaningful to young and old alike. Click Here to view a comparison of the two High Holiday services.
Children's services and holiday activities are offered for all ages on the High Holy Days. Prayer, song, stories, games and Torah drama are a part of each day. Those participating in the children's programs and their families also participate in a Tashlich ceremony at 12:30pm, on the 1st day of Rosh Hashana, to finish their holiday program for the day.
Later, in the afternoon of the 1st day of Rosh Hashana, Rabbi Tobin leads the congregation to the Tashlich service where everyone has an opportunity to symbolically shake off their sins into a brook, conveniently located next to the shul.
Yizkor services are held on Yom Kippur morning, and on the other three pilgrimage holidays throughout the year. Yizkor is always accompanied by a moving sermon and private time for prayer.
Yom Kippur concludes after the Ne'ilah service with the Bimah filled with children as they join Rabbi Tobin in blowing "T'kia Gedolah" on the shofar. The annually published Elul and Tishrei Guide is an indispensable High Holidays resource that provides essential information on candle lighting and service times, holiday observances and traditions, and all things related.
Sukkot is a weeklong festival, rich with mitzvot(h) of spiritual observances, celebration and rejoicing. It has many minhagim (traditions), some of them dating back to the Talmudic and even earlier times.
Holiday services are held in the main sanctuary on the 1st and 2nd days of Sukkot, along with Shemini Atzeret. Lulav and etrog sets can be ordered through the synagogue office each year, at a moderate price. CLICK HERE to download the order form.
A majestic Sukkah is erected adjacent to the Gruhin sanctuary. Many joyous events are traditionally held there during the Intermediate days of Sukkot, such as Scotch in the Sukkah organized by Men's Club, congregational Supper in the Sukkah, a luncheon sponsored by Sisterhood and many more.
Traditional Sukkot activities for kids include an annual Donuts and Decorations event to create colorful, seasonal crafts to adorn the synagogue sukkah. Children also participate in the Hoshana Rabbah ceremony with willows and they help dip apples in chocolate for treats on Erev Simchat Torah.
Simchat Torah is especially joyous. In the evening everyone participates in the Torah processions with song and dance. The following morning is also filled with singing and dancing with the Torah, as Rabbi Tobin leads us around the synagogue. Weather permitting, we venture out onto the synagogue grounds. Everyone gets to have an aliyah and we finish the holiday celebrations with a festive member - sponsored luncheon.
The candles in a large chanukiah are lit during services every night of the festival of lights, as well as on the synagogue lawn. We traditionally celebrate together with a dinner and some entertainment for families to enjoy. We've had magicians, movies, karaoke contests, family concerts and a laser show at our Chanukah gatherings.
Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for Trees, is celebrated with a seder and meal that reminds us of our ties to agriculture, the cycle of the seasons and of course to the land of Israel.
Purim is an exciting time at B'nai Shalom, religiously observed by Megillah reading. While children participate in an abbreviated family Megillah reading in the Gruhin Sanctuary, the complete Megillah of Esther is read in the Lipka Chapel. Everyone is invited to come in costume and join the parade.
A highlight of the holiday is our annual Purim Seudah, a festive meal, held on Purim day. This feast is always accompanied by some entertaining event, including our popular Purim shpiels, written, directed and performed by talented members, talent shows, Masquerade Balls and Purim Carnivals, to name a few. Members also pack and send Mishloach Manot, Purim baskets, to each other, a warm, wonderful way to fulfill one of the mitzvot associated with this holiday.
Preparation for Pesach includes selling your Chametz, where Rabbi Tobin serves as your trusted agent. Click Here to Download the Chametz Contract.
Traditional Pesach activities include a congregational Seder, held annually on the second night of the holiday. To help B'nai Shalomers navigate through the numerous mitzvot, minhagim and events that enrich the deep spiritual experience and rejoicing of the Festival of Freedom, a comprehensive Pesach Guide is published annually.
Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated each year with a meaningful presentation, speaker or film related to the Holocaust and the lessons we must learn from this time in history. A memorial service follows the presentation.
B’nai Shalom holds a Fun Family Event to celebrate Lag B’omer each spring. Barbecues, bonfires, carnivals with a bouncy house and a Hawaiian-themed Lag B’omer Luau are some of the amusing ways we have celebrated.
Each Shavuot evening we hold a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot, a Night of Jewish Study, where Rabbis, educators and lay people teach a bit of Torah. Refreshments are served throughout the learning sessions. Services held on the 1st day are followed by a delicious dairy luncheon, sponsored by our sisterhood. 2nd Day Shavuot services include Yizkor.
Along with other fast days, Tisha B’Av is observed with special services that include the reading of Eicha (Lamentations) by members of the congregation. We often mark the solemn day with a relevant film or discussion and finish with a light break fast.
Welcome to the beautiful Morris and Miriam Hammer Campus centrally located in West Orange only minutes from I-280. Our building was expanded and rededicated in 2006 and now boasts many wonderful rooms. We are a kosher facility under the supervision of our Rabbi Robert Tobin and we have separate meat and dairy kitchens so whatever type of affair you are looking to hold, we can accommodate, all at very reasonable prices. For individual events, Glatt Kosher, Orthodox supervision is available, upon request. Our rooms are available for rental by the community Sunday thru Friday at lunchtime. Our building is fully handicapped accessible.
For further information about renting rooms in our facility, please contact Gary Rothschild, Synagogue Director (973-731-0160 x202 or email@example.com)
The Gruhin Sanctuary - The Gruhin Sanctuary, with seating for 400 guests is a modern warm room highlighted by the Gottlieb bimah with its beautiful ark. With seating in the round there are clear unobstructed sightlines so your guests can see the bride and groom, the b'nei mitzvah or any other special person. The dome over the vaulted ceiling and the high windows encircling most of the room makes for an extra special twilight affair.
The Legow Loggia is the perfect place to host a cocktail hour, a brunch reception or a light snack and coffee after a meeting. With the adjacent Eichler Hall, it is perfect for that special birthday party or any other special simcha. With a cathedraled ceiling, a wall of windows and a beautiful slate floor it is truly a one of a kind space.
The Maron Social Hall is our largest and most flexible room. With its raised stage and access to the Liben Garden, the Maron Social Hall can accommodate well over 150 guests for a sit down meal and still have room for the band and a dance floor. If combined with Eichler Hall the available seats grows to about 400. If you are looking to use the room for a lecture hall, having the speakers on the stage will allow for seating of up to 750 people comfortably.
Eichler Hall, which is situated between Maron Social Hall and the Legow Loggia, is the perfect size meeting room for up to 50 guests. It makes a great food service area for either the Legow Loggia or the Maron Social Hall and is the perfect passageway for your guests as they pass from a cocktail hour in the loggia to the main reception in Maron Hall.
The Lipka Chapel is the perfect size room to hold a smaller private affair such as a baby naming, bris or other affair.
Need a private meeting room? We have classrooms available which will comfortably sit up to 20 people. We supply the tables and chairs.
300 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, NJ 07052
We are located at the corner of Pleasant Valley Way and Woodland Avenue.
For a map and directions, please scroll down.
Main Office - x201, President Jessie - x209
Yabebal 'Yabi' Abetw
- Rabbi - RabbiTobin@bnaishalom.net
- Rabbi Emeritus - RabbiAsekoff@bnaishalom.net
- President (Jessie) - PresidentJessie@bnaishalom.net
- Synagogue Director (Gary) - Director@bnaishalom.net
- Religious School Principal (Rena) - Principal@bnaishalom.net
- Sisterhood - Sisterhood@bnaishalom.net
- Mens Club - Mensclub@bnaishalom.net
- Programming (Leslie)- Programs@bnaishalom.net
- USY - USY@bnaishalom.net
- Kadima - Kadima@bnaishalom.net
B’nai Shalom has a long and proud history of supporting the State of Israel. Whether it is through our unprecedented purchase of Israeli bonds, Rabbi-led excursions through her beautiful lands, joining the IDF or making aliyah, the State of Israel is in the heart, the mind and the soul of our congregation.
Shira Hadasha is a warm, welcoming and struggling Masorti synagogue in Arad Israel. As our sister synagogue, it is a wonderful place to be an overseas member and to have a personal connection with real Israeli's on the ground.
Arad is a mixed ethnic, artsy city in the desert - on the way from Be'er Sheva to Masada and the Dead Sea. Members of our shul have traveled and spent Shabbat with the members of Shira Hadasha, and learned their stories and histories. They have members from Russia, England, South America, South Africa, Germany, Australia, America, Iraq, and more. It is a spectrum of families looking for an alternative to being either "secular" or "orthodox" as Jews in Israel.
The congregation receives no support from the city, or the Masorti movement, to speak of, and live hand to mouth on just a few thousand dollars a year. Every gift and every membership in Shira Hadasha by members of B'nai Shalom is a life line thrown to them in the hope that they can explore and enjoy the Judaism that we share. Please help support Shira Hadasha by donating below: